As NASA turns up support for future commercial lunar landers, the space agency last week canceled a mission that would have placed a rover on the moon to survey resources, such as water and helium, that could be used by future human explorers.
Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine resigned from the House of Representatives Monday and was sworn in as NASA’s 13th administrator by Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the recently revitalized National Space Council.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican, was confirmed Thursday as NASA’s 13th administrator after months of partisan wrangling over his lack of experience in the space arena and prior statements questioning human contributions to climate change.
NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, a rocket propulsion engineer and career civil servant who has led the space agency since the beginning of the Trump administration, said Monday he will retire from the space agency at the end of April.
President Trump plans to nominate Rep. Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma Republican who has championed commercial spaceflight and a return to the moon, to be the next NASA administrator after months of speculation.